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Environment / Leask given advisor role at crofting federation

Councillor Stephen Leask. Photo: Shetland News

A LOCAL councillor has been appointed by the Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) as an advisor.

Stephen Leask, who works as an advisor and consultant for animal feed supplier Harbro, said he was “very honoured” to join the federation.

The organisation’s chief executive Patrick Krause said: “Stephen has informally been a great help to SCF for a long time, through our Shetland director Eleanor Arthur, our Shetland group, and to me personally.

“His wealth of knowledge about Shetland agriculture and crofting is exceptional, as is his plain ‘common sense’.

“I am sure the many who know him can attest to this. We asked Stephen to join our Council of Advisors so that he has a more direct role in assisting the direction SCF goes in, and he has kindly agreed to take this on.”

The Scottish Crofting Federation says it is “dedicated to campaigning for crofters and fighting for the future of crofting” by engaging with agencies and government at local, national and international levels.

It was originally set up as the Scottish Crofters Union in 1985.

Leask, who will also contribute to the federation’s own magazine, said: “When they asked me to become an advisor to the SCF, I had no hesitation in saying yes as I felt I could in some way assist the federation with my knowledge and with the contacts I have within the crofting community in Shetland and their expertise, which is of great value to me.”

Leask pointed to knowledge in “differing areas“ such as being an animal health advisor and a member of the Agricultural Industries Confederation.

“I must re-emphasise the help I get from consulting the many crofters and farmers who I look on as good friends and acquaintances who are valued advisors to me,” he added.

Leask described as the federation as a “progressive and outward looking movement, which helps and assists the crofting community to work within the framework of the 21st century” – and one that is keen to see more young people involved in crofting.

“I hope I can assist Eleanor Arthur, the board member for Shetland, in meeting the aspirations of the local crofting community in Shetland,” he said.